12"x18" Pan And Batter Quantity

Decorating By pmarks0 Updated 15 Apr 2013 , 2:15am by pmarks0

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pmarks0 Posted 19 Mar 2013 , 12:23am
post #1 of 12

This may be a stupid question, but I figure I'd ask rather than guess.


Based on the violin cake I made for my brother 3 weeks ago (http://cakecentral.com/g/a/3321068/violin-birthday-cake/) I've been asked to make a full size guitar cake.  This will only be my second real carved cake.  I'm not really worried about doing it as I've there are lots of great examples here on CC.


I haven't got a guitar to trace at the moment, but I do plan on making a template from one.  However from what I've seen online, I think I am going to have to make it slighly smaller than a standard size guitar based on my pan size unless someone has a suggested on how I can meet the standard measurements, which are 19 3/4" for the length of the body and 14 3/4" for widest part.  I'm trying to find the dimensions of a 3/4 size guitar because that may be better (and I don't want to assume it's literally 75% of the standard size or 14 3/4" for length and 11" for the width.)


I have a 12x18x1" jellyroll pan that I use for cookies.  It does have sloped sizes but since I'm going to carve, that doesn't really matter.

I'm thinking I would bake 4 single layers in order to get the height needed.  And it will be easier to ice and stack like that, and then carve.

My question is, the Wilton charge says as 12x18 use 14 cups of batter, but I believe that is a 2" pan.  Is it safe to assume that the pan I have would use half that amount?  I'm planning to use this recipe http://cakecentral.com/a/triple-chocolate-fudge-cake which I believe will give me enough batter for two pans.

I've never baked cake in these pans, so I'm not sure how long or at what temperature I would bake them.  Is there any chance that the middle might not bake?


In regards to my comment above regarding the size of the final cake, should I consider baking the equivalent of a full sheet cake using the 1" layers and put two of them together to get the dimensions I need?  It seems I would end up with a lot of extra cake.  I need the length of the pan (18") in order to carve the wide part of the guitar (14 3/4") and double the width (24") is a fair bit more than I need for the length of the cake (19 3/4").  I don't think I can get around that.


They're going to have 50 people at the party.  It just seems that the standard size guitar cake is going to be too big for them but a 3/4 size guitar may be more reasonable being more like an 11x15 size.  I would still bake it up the same way with the 1" 12x18 layers to allow for carving room.


I think there's a question somewhere in all of that. LOL.



11 replies
-K8memphis Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
-K8memphis Posted 19 Mar 2013 , 1:20am
post #2 of 12

i love to plan sculpted cakes


and first of all-- you are fully authorized to make your guitar cake (and any and all cakes) any size you want icon_biggrin.gif


and yes it is that easy to just whack off a quarter or two tenths or add a percentage to make it smaller/bigger to get enough servings--you are fully vested--you are the master ;) but i mean it's cake--you don't have to be 10,000% literal--sweet poetic license -- go for it


wow that violin is amazing


the guitar i have right here is your similar dimensions plus 5.25 inches thick


once you determine your final size you can harvest the parts of cake you're carving off to supplement any other areas too--


how are you going to hold up the neck??


so your 3/4 plan and the baking sounds good--just watch that the fondant (if you are using fondant) doesn't pull down the height too much


i think that's a pretty good guess on the batter amount--it should bake up pretty dang quick for you at one inch thick give or take a bit


i don't know if this will help but you could also bake this in 4 12" layers at least two inches tall--and your carving is more econimical


that makes it 12 x 24 when you lay them out--too long--guitar is 19.75


my guitar is 12" across at the frets graduating to 15.75 wide and 19.75 long


take four inches off one of the 12" squares and place those four inches onto the side of the other 12" square (the bottom half of the guitar) to increase it from 12" to 16" and carve the guitar out of that maybe--just reposition them so they are laid out uniformly


sandwich them together with icing so nothing falls off


you are more economical with the cake needing to be carved off/discarded/eaten--but you don't have a lot leftover to make the neck either ;) depending on how you were gonna do the neck

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pmarks0 Posted 19 Mar 2013 , 2:05am
post #3 of 12

Thanks K8 for the complement on the violin.  I was really proud of it and my brother was in shock. :) 


As for this cake, thanks for your input.
I think I will aim for a slightly smaller than standard size.  I don't want to give them a ton more cake than they need.  I think I would have about 60-70 servings in the carved cake given your suggestion.


Just so I understand what you're suggesting, you're saying bake 12x12 squares and place them beside each other to give myself the 12x24 size.  Bake 4 two inch high layers to get the height needed for the guitar.

Then, cut down the length by 4" so it's now 12x20.  I would then shift the bottom square to the side and place that 4" strip beside it to make it 12x16 giving me the width I need for the widest part of the guitar.  I figured a cake of this size would, in the end, be enough to provide

(I think I basically repeated what you said. LOL)


Based on what I've been reading here, I would use foamcore or cardboard to make the neck of the instrument and cover it in fondant. 

I have seen in other photos that some have placed a dowel underneath the head to support it, others a piece of styrofoam or something covered in fondant, and someone even made a "pillow" of cake covered in fondant to place it on.  I'm leaning to a dowel attached to the board.

Do you have any suggestions?  I know it needs support of some sort. 





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-K8memphis Posted 19 Mar 2013 , 3:59am
post #4 of 12

i'm glad you repeated it because then i know i expressed myself so it could be understood ;)


the only thing i can think of to support the neck is a stack of music--like a real stack of sheet music or something like that


to keep it real looking


sometimes the neck is make of cake and the part that touches the board is blackened out


but besides sheet music what would you lay your guitar onto?


know what? i just checked and this guitar will rest it's head on the table--


the big bottom part is slightly raised off the table 3/4"


you could make the board elevated a tad or blacken the bottom part of the body of the guitar (maybe recess it)


you could take some  poetic artistic license and just let the top of the neck touch anyhow


it bends back where the strings attach


you could just make a cradle for it as if it was resting in a guitar case too


i think i like the last idea best

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pmarks0 Posted 19 Mar 2013 , 4:20am
post #5 of 12

I've been looking more on line and I've found a couple of things.

I've found the Taylor Guitar site and I found basic dimensions for the Baby Taylor which is basically a 3/4 size. 

I also found another site that provided blueprints for making a real guitar. :)

I could get Kinko's to print it out to about to about 75% of it's actual size and I think it might be what I need.

It also has all of the other parts needed (ie. finger board, fret spacing, headstock) in the size proportional to the body.

Plus it shows where the sound hole should be and it's size.

I plan on covering the board with sheet music like I did the violin cake, so perhaps a stack of music under the head would work.  I'll have to think about that.

I don't really want to make that out of cake, so I'll have to figure out how to do that.

The only other thing to really think about is the strings and how to attach them.  I don't have an extruder so maybe flower wire would be the way to go.

I did have some issues on the violin getting them to sit right.  I saw on other threads that people have used silver thread and strands of wool.  I'll to give that some more thought to this feature.


I've got three weeks thankfully, so I'm not super worried about being able to get it done.  I can always bake the cakes needed in advance and freeze them.

I can also get the board cut at Home Depot in advance, plus get the template prepped as well.


I just have to come up with a price.  This is for my hair dresser's son. He's suggesting a trade of services but doesn't want me to lose on this.


I really appreciate your input in this. Thanks!  :)

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-K8memphis Posted 19 Mar 2013 , 1:33pm
post #6 of 12

yes kinko's is great for that--but it is pricey


i bet you could draw something out easy peasy


i think earlene used rice paper once for guitar strings--might be something about that on her website




and if you use a cradle for the neck--it could be like this kind




even though they use it for installing it on a wall--it would suffice to be 'authentical' to support the neck of your cake


spooled flower wire would work

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-K8memphis Posted 19 Mar 2013 , 1:39pm
post #7 of 12

but i mean why not get real strings if you're gonna use wire




it's cheap--but i wonder if they would stretch out straight for you--they should if mounted onto the foam core

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pmarks0 Posted 21 Mar 2013 , 1:50am
post #8 of 12

I might take a look at the real strings.  I would have to determine how I'd be able to secure them at each end.  Same issue I had with the violin. LOL.


So I have a question about price....this cake is for my hairdresser's son's 30th birthday.  He had asked me how much a guitar cake would be. I've never really priced a carved cake like this so I'm curious about price. It seems a little easier than some carved cakes (is this considered 2D or 3D?) as it's just the body that's being carved.  But there are a number of other elements that have to be created (neck, holder, custom cut board).  He wants to trade services for cake, which I'm fine with.  I'm going to go with a 3/4 size guitar which has a body that is about 15.75" long and 12.5" at the widest part.  So given that I'm going to be cutting away cake, I figure it has the dimensions of an 11x15 sheet cake but not the full size.  Wilton says that gives 74 servings (the cake will be 4" high), so with the carving, I'm figuring more like 60.  I need 50.   I gave him a price of $350.  Was I out of line?  It is going to be covered in fondant.  I was basing it on $5/serving, and the 70ish servings that the cake had before carving.  I realize that the thread above has me baking cakes larger than the 11x15 to get the area I need to safely carve.  In this case, I'm not going to charge him that price.  He's a family friend whom I've known all my life.


I'm not looking for questions about if I'm legal, or what my overhead and other costs are.  I know that and have taken that into account.  I just am curious if $350 is within reason for a cake like this.


Thanks :)


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-K8memphis Posted 21 Mar 2013 , 2:53am
post #9 of 12

i would consider it a 3-d sculpture


i think $350 is well within reason--sculptures in my neck of the woods start at $8


and that was pricing from a few years ago


so that's good


while there's no support structure needed for the cake--yes the neck is another story altogether


yeah those strings might be a little unruly huh


good job!

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denetteb Posted 21 Mar 2013 , 3:26am
post #10 of 12

I don't sell so can't comment on most of this thread, but based on all the calculations and research and your prior violin (wow) and all the work on this one, I think you shouldn't be paying for haircuts for a very, very, very long time.  I almost put another very in there but didn't want to get carried away.  :)

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kyliecake Posted 21 Mar 2013 , 11:07am
post #11 of 12

HI, love your violin cake.  I made the following cake 


for a friend's son.  I copied his own guitar and did it to scale (well close enough).  I can't remember the sizes, but I used an oval pan (for the bottom end of the guitar) which I hardly had to carve, and a rectangle to do the other part.  The neck was wood covered in fondant and made almost like a bridge shape that went down into the base of the cake and the hand piece (which was also cake) if that makes sense.

I too printed off sheet music - Happy Birthday and covered the board in contact.

I don't know if any of this information is of any use, but good luck.

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pmarks0 Posted 15 Apr 2013 , 2:15am
post #12 of 12

So I had to deliver the cake last weekend and it was a huge success.  I of course saw all of the flaws.  It took way longer than I thought and covering the body with fondant was a bit of a challenge.  But I'm really happy with the way it turned out.  And the "strings" were my favourite part.



Thanks to everyone, especially K8Memphis, for all your help and advice.

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